National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Dermatomyositis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Dermatomyositis is a progressive connective tissue disorder characterized by inflammatory and degenerative changes of the muscles and skin. Associated symptoms and physical findings may vary widely from case to case. Muscle abnormalities may begin with aches and weakness of the muscles of the trunk, upper arms, hips, and thighs (proximal muscles). Muscles may be stiff, sore, and tender and, eventually, show signs of degeneration (atrophy). Affected individuals may experience difficulty in performing certain functions, such as raising their arms and/or climbing stairs. In addition, affected individuals may experience speech and swallowing difficulties.
Skin abnormalities associated with dermatomyositis often include a distinctive reddish-purple rash (heliotrope rash) on the upper eyelids, across the cheeks and bridge of the nose in a "butterfly" distribution, the forehead, or additional skin regions; scaling and degenerative (atrophic) changes of affected skin on the extending surfaces of the knuckles, elbows, knees, and/or other regions (Gottron's sign); an abnormal accumulation of fluid (edema) in body tissues surrounding the eyes; and/or other features.
The symptoms of childhood dermatomyositis are similar to those associated with the adult form of the disorder. However, onset is usually more sudden. In addition, abnormal accumulations of calcium deposits (calcifications) in muscle and skin tissues as well as involvement of the digestive (gastrointestinal [GI]) tract are more common in the childhood form of dermatomyositis.
Although the exact cause of dermatomyositis is not known, it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.
1737 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309
Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
Myositis Support Group
146 Newtown Road
Southampton, S019 9HR
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
European Society for Immunodeficiencies
1-3 rue de Chantepoulet
Geneva, CH 1211
Myositis Support Group at the Hospital for Special Surgery
2nd Floor Conference Center, Room A
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Child Neurology Foundation
201 Chicago Ave, #200
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Cure JM Foundation
826 Lynwood Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
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This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
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Last Updated: 7/23/2007
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